Biceps are tough to train without some weight equipment. However, if you have found a place to do chin-ups for your back, your biceps will get plenty of work doing those. In particular, chin-ups with an underhand grip (in which your palms are facing your face) and in which you use a narrow grip (one in which your hands are only about eight to ten inches apart) really work the biceps. For a second set, do partials or "negatives", in which you jump up to the position with your chin above the bar, then hold it and lower yourself slowly to a count of ten, resisting the pull of gravity. Jump back up and do it again, then again, until you can' t hold yourself up. Your biceps will get huge. I do not think that underhand chin ups work the lats very much… they tend to make the biceps do most of the work, and the part of the lats that they do work is different from the part worked with overhand chins. Therefore, it is safe to do two sets of overhand chins for the lats and two sets of underhand chins for the biceps. This could be done either in the same workout or on a different day.

Isometrics are another possibility. The word isometric means "equal measure", so an isometric exercise is one in which you pull or push against something without moving it. An isometric exercise for the biceps would be to clasp your palms together in front of
your navel, one on top of the other. Then push up with the lower arm, in a curling motion, while pressing down with the upper arm. The pressure you apply doesn' t need to be 100% of your strength; sixty to eighty percent will do. Hold the pressure for ten seconds, then switch and do the exercise on the other bicep. Isometrics are great strength and size building exercises. If you train with no weight equipment, I would encourage you to learn about isometrics and incorporate them into your routine. One of the biggest increases in the size of my triceps I have ever experienced was when I was not lifting weights but was doing an isometric exercise where I stood in a low doorway and simply pressed up as hard as I could on the doorframe over my head. I was doing little else at the time as far as weight lifting goes besides isometrics, and my triceps in particular really grew. There are isometrics you can do for almost every body part. This is a whole area you can explore. It gets beyond the scope of this course, so check on the internet or at the library. Wrestlers use isometrics in their workouts, and in effect, as they grapple with one another in matches, they are performing isometrics the whole time. If you' ve ever seen the muscles on a wrestler, you know how effective this exercise is!

But back to biceps. Other isometric exercises would be to slide your palms under any immoveable object, like heavy bed or piece of furniture, and press up as if trying to do a curl. You may need a small towel to pad each hand.

An ordinary curl with weights consists of starting with a weight held in your hand while your arm hangs naturally at your side. Then you raise your arm until your palm is almost in front of your face. You can do both arms at once, like with a barbell, or alternate, one arm at a time. That' s the curling motion, although with an isometric, there is no movement.

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